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Smart mirrors lets you virtually try on clothes and order drinks

Hunting for clothes in a busy shop can be a nightmare, but shopping online can be a bit hit-and-miss.This has led to a number of company's coming up with a compromise - interactive mirrors in shops that let you virtually try on different outfits, explore colours and patterns, and even order food.

The latest to be rolled out in the US is the Memory Mirror that uses augmented reality to show how clothes will fit, and lets shoppers change outfits with the swipe of a hand.Other mirrors include eBay's interactive shopping assistant that finds different sizes and accessories, and Panasonic's 'flaws and all' mirror that helps people buy products to improve how they look.

Memory Mirror, or Memo Mi, was founded by California-based Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky.MemoMi uses Intel integrated graphics technology to create avatars of the shopper wearing various clothing.These clothes can be shared with friends on social media or via email, to ask for feedback, or viewed instantly to help make an in-store purchase.

Using hand gestures, shoppers can scroll through different colours, patterns and sizes, and the smart mirror remembers previous outfit choices, so the shopper can compare and contrast.It also lets people add accessories, and see outfits from different angles without straining their neck or using a wall of mirrors.

Initially unveiled last year, the technology is now being introduced into Neiman Marcus stores in San Francisco, and later, Texas.

 MemoMi works in a similar way to an interactive mirror announced last year from eBay.The system features ‘connected walls’, which are mirrored displays showing video content designed to inspire shoppers. Users swipe through looks and touch the screen to ask store staff to fill dressing rooms with the clothes they like - and even order drinks.

An interactive fitting room mirror then acts as a personal stylist and suggests matching accessories to go with an item of clothing that a shopper has in the room with them.Shoppers can also tap the mirror to change the lighting.The rooms use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to recognise all the items of clothing in the room and offer alternative sizes and colours that are available to buy.Shoppers can mull over options by taking their selection with them in the form of images stored in a dedicated app.It additionally allows consumers to build personal profiles of their favourite items, which can be purchased later online. Using this technology, the shop can even recognise individual customers, allowing staff to make personal recommendations, and track what people have brought.

Last week, Panasonic unveiled a similar mirror to that of eBay and MemoryMirror - although it's not quite as flattering.The Japanese firm's mirror analyses a person's face using built-in high-definition cameras, and points out every flaw. It then tells the customer the best way to improve their look, appear younger, what to wear to look thinner, and more.